Guest Blogger: April Fatula


Getting my kids to drink enough water is a daily struggle. Since soda is reserved for rare occasions, this homemade version accomplishes the water-intake goal while seeming like a special treat.

Simple syrup is a common ingredient in drink recipes, from cocktails to lattes. The most basic simple syrup recipe is a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar. To make it kid-friendly without losing adult appeal, we flavor it with fruit juice and add it to sparkling water as a healthier alternative to soda. This super-easy recipe will keep in a glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator for a month, or you can store it in the freezer even longer.


  • 1 cup tart cherry juice

(NOTE: Fresh cherry season is so short, and the juicing process is a lot of work, so we buy this 100 percent juice version in bottle form. If you can’t find the “tart” variety, add a little bit of lemon juice.)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • Mountain Valley Sparkling Water



  • In a small saucepan, bring the juice and sugar to a boil.

  • Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, and the liquid is reduced by at least 1⁄4.

  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.

  • Add a tablespoon or so of the simple syrup to taste to a glass of sparkling water on ice, give it a stir, and enjoy!